Osvaldo Golijov
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Ayre nominated for Grammy award
 
Ayre, Osvaldo Golijov's 2004 song cycle written for Dawn Upshaw and The Andalucian Dogs, today received a Grammy nomination in the category of "Best Classical Contemporary Composition". The work is featured on a 2005 Deutsche Grammophon CD that Anastasia Tsioulcas of WNYC Soundcheck named her "favorite classical recording in recent memory." Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times called it "the indispensable new recording of the season," and the cycle was praised as "a work of freshness and genius" by Justin Davidson of Newsday.

The Best Classical Contemporary Composition recognizes a contemporary classical composition composed within the last 25 years, and released for the first time during the eligibility year.

Ayre received its premiere at Zankel Hall in New York on March 31, 2004, followed by a performance at Tanglewood. Commissioned by Carnegie Hall, at the request of Dawn Upshaw for her astounding "Perspectives" tour de force in 2004, Ayre – meaning "air" and "melody" in medieval Spanish – is a 40-minute cycle of 11 songs drawn primarily from a large body of 15th Century Spanish folk songs. Representing the three prominent cultures in Spain at the time (Christian, Jewish and Arab), the music is a lush mix of Spanish and Mediterranean influences and reflects a range of human conditions and emotions stemming from the cultural clash and mesh of the time. Tales of love and war, religion and rage are contained in texts sung in Ladino (the lost language of the Spanish Jews), Arabic, Hebrew, Sardinian, Spanish and even the ancient Aramaic. Scored for clarinet, French horn, accordion, guitar, harp, flute, viola, cello, double bass, and laptop computer, Ayre's instrumentation is as eclectic as its languages.